Caesars Entertainment announced today through a press release that it will close Bill’s Gambling Hall on February 4, 2013. The property is best known for its low limit gambling. The property was previously known as Barbary Coast before a land swap deal with Boyd Gaming, the former owner of the 4.3-acre property at Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard. Boyd Gaming received 24 acres bordering its now stalled Echelon project on the former Stardust land in exchange for Barbary Coast.
Caesars Entertainment had big plans for the Barbary Coast property when it was purchased. The company envisioned building a massive expansion of Flamingo on this property as well as several other properties the company owns that border it. The Las Vegas recession halted these plans as financing and demand dried up along with the implosion of Las Vegas real estate prices.
Caesars Entertainment secured $185 million through a seven year secured credit facility that will be used to renovate the property. The renovation will include a rooftop pool and nightclub. The casino, guest rooms and common areas will also be renovated. The property hopes to reopen during the first quarter of 2014.
The casino currently employs 600 people but that number is expected to rise to 1000 people when the property reopens. A name for the new resort has yet to be announced.
Bill’s Low Limit Games
Bill’s Gambling Hall is best known for its low limit table games. Many games have just a $5 minimum bet. The casino is also the only place in Las Vegas to offer Rapid Craps, which is a version of craps with a real table and dice but uses an electronic screen for players to make bets. Rapid Craps requires just one dealer as opposed to three dealers and a pit boss often required at a standard craps game.
Bill’s Gambling Hall is also home to the last $.50/$1 No Limit Texas Hold’em game in Las Vegas. It is the only cash game offered in its 6-table poker room. Players may buy into this game for only $20. There is no word if this micro limit game will find a new home at one of the neighboring Caesars Entertainment casinos or if it will completely die.
This is not the only major project Caesars Entertainment is working on at this time. The Linq Project is currently under development. The company is spending approximately $550 million on Linq. The project includes the demolition of O’Sheas, rebranding of Imperial Palace to The Quad, and a large entertainment and shopping district. One major entertainment option is a planned 550 foot observation wheel.
Caesars Entertainment Debt Load
Caesars Entertainment is finding credit even though the company is over $20 billion in debt. Much of this debt was accrued while taking the company private, a move that was reversed when the company went public again earlier this year. Some of he debt was taken out to cover day to day expenses and expansion as Caesars Entertainment is barely able to service the interest payments on its current debt load.
Caesars Entertainment is trying to level the playing field between it and rival MGM Resorts in terms of upscale offerings. MGM Resorts has left Caesars Entertainment behind with its City Center project, Bellagio and recent MGM Grand remodel. Most of Caesars Entertainment properties are older and somewhat neglected. The new resort that will replace Bill’s Gambling Hall looks to capitalize on one of the most prime pieces of real estate in the world.
View the press release here
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